5 things you need to know when starting your fitness journey

Welcome to the Gym
  1. You’re doing a good thing!
  2. You will have good days and bad days!
  3. The journey is as important as the goal!
  4. We all have a physical ceiling!
  5. The way you approach nutrition will be key to progress!

You’re doing a good thing!

Whether you’re planning to take Ramadan 2023 as the starting point for your fitness journey or you’ve been holding off on exercise due to a busy schedule, or maybe you’re getting back to pre-pregnancy shape – for the female readers, whatever your reason for deciding now to be the time to focus in on fitness training, know, you’re doing a good thing!

Our bodies have rights to care and attention just like the home in which you live in needs care and attention or it will become dilapidated. Did you know, the average heart beats over 2.5 billion times? How rich are we to have the blessing of working hearts and how short-sighted is the one that takes no care for the blessing of life!

The reality is that obesity is increasing among the youth and older generations, but the fitness industry is also steadily increasing in yearly revenue. More people are looking for ways to turn around their health through exercise and you’re one of those people so give yourself a pat on the back because you’re doing for yourself something that some people will never attempt – being real with yourself and making change happen.

You will have good days and bad days!

Gym training is no different from your work life in that you’ll have good days when you’re on fire, hitting PR after another, and then come the days where you feel like the gym goblin with low energy and poor form – you may need a rest day! Know your body and take the message your body gives you on days when you’re not feeling it.

The journey is as important as the goal!

Following on from the last point you have to remember that getting into the gym, for weight loss, for example, doesn’t and shouldn’t stop once you hit your goal weight. Yes, you may decide to tone down your training to maintain your weight or find new goals but the journey you take, the knowledge you gain, and the time you took working on yourself are just as important.

It’s a great motivator, to write down your experiences in a diary. Whenever you feel low on determination to keep training you can look back upon the pages in your journal to remind yourself how far you’ve come. Goals change but the striving you put in even on the low days will be a true show of your ability.

We all have a physical ceiling!

It’s likely you’ll start training with two guns up, blazing through 1+ hour sessions and feeling like you can do another session later the same day. That’s great determination and dedication and you want to hold onto that mindset but your body may let you down even though you want to knock out another session.

The truth is after some time training, you’ll reach a stage where you get ‘diminishing returns,’ meaning, you’ll do an exercise but don’t gain any physical benefit from continuing the exercise in the way you’ve been doing it. This is understandable when you think about an Olympic 100m sprint. Are we likely to ever see a sprinter run 100m in 4.25 seconds? No, not unless he has a friend that can help him fly on a ‘magic carpet’ as well!

When such a barrier comes to you the best thing you can do is adapt your training which can be done in a number of ways. Switching your programme or employing a Personal Trainer may be a start, changing weight, reps, sets, time under tension, and/or exercise equipment may help but there will always be a point reached where staying to what you know doesn’t work. For help, if you’re in this situation, get in touch with me by messaging me through my contact page.

The way you approach nutrition will be key to progress!

Knocking out 3-5 gym sessions a week can be hard work and if you’ve got the mission of getting to work and sit-down time with family and friends to add to that you’ll really need to fine-tune your diet. When I say diet I mean the nutritional food and drink you consume day to day. Learning what best suits your training and health goals will help you avoid a revolving door where you train hard only to eat food that knocks back your progress.

Carbohydrates, Fats and Protein are the key macronutrients we need in a balanced diet and the quantities you need will differ from the next man unless you have an identical twin that does everything you do and is staring at you as you read this right now – space please bro! Of course, you need to enjoy your food, trying new foods shouldn’t be off the table if you can afford the risk but be cautious of allergies and any aversions you may have. It can take a few good tries of a new food before it becomes palatable to your tastebuds so keep an open mind to the food around you.

Taking the above points into consideration you’ll be better placed to achieve the goals you have in fitness training. There’s no one ideal way to train or eat, what works for you is fair enough, and finding enjoyment in your training is a point we could also go into but we won’t, not in this post anyway. Whatever you plan plan it well, with help if necessary and make fitness training a part of everyday life. Live well and Ramadan Mubarak to those of you fasting this month!

Published by Hanif

Husband and Father helping Men in the U.K. and worldwide get into amazing shape with coaching and lifestyle change underpinned by authentic Islamic knowledge, current fitness techniques and the advancement of modern health discoveries.

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